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Stocks Boomerang After Twitter Hack Spooks Markets

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stocks indexes closed near session highs after a Twitter hacking event sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average crashing by nearly as many points as there are characters in a single tweet.

The Dow fell 143 points at about 1:08 p.m. New York time, temporarily erasing the day's gains after The Associated Press Twitter account erroneously reported two explosions at the White House coupled with a report that President Barack Obama had been injured. The maximum number of characters in a Tweet is 140.

Markets snapped back within minutes to near session highs after journalists attending a press briefing inside the White House reported that the Tweet was false. Another AP Twitter account, @apstylebook, confirmed that the @AP account had been hacked. The tweet occurred at about 1:08 p.m. EST.

The S&P 500 ended up gaining 1% on the day to 1,578.78 matching the Dow Jones Industrial Average which also rose 1% to 14,719.46.

Better-than-expected profits from Coach (COH) and airline operators Delta Air Lines (DAL) and US Airways (LCC) bolstered the outlook for the U.S. economy and a housing indicator pointed to strength in the sector.

Apple (AAPL), the iPhone, iPad and iPod maker, was up 1.84% to $406 ahead of its fiscal second-quarter earnings report after the bell. The company is expected by analysts to post fiscal second-quarter earnings of $10.04 a share on revenue of $42.38 billion. The Nasdaq was rose 1.11% to 3,269.33.

The key to Apple's earnings report will be guidance for the June quarter, as the tech giant gets ready to refresh its product lineup, with the oft-rumored iPhone 5S and new iPad and iPad mini tablets.

TheStreet is live-blogging Apple's earnings.

Netflix, (NFLX) the online-entertainment company, soared 24.4% to $216.99 after posting earnings on Monday that also trumped Wall Street expectations. The company had more than 36 million streaming subscribers at the end of the quarter, up 3.05 million from the previous quarter.

"NLFX has been an interesting story and I think investors are looking at this as the new 'hot stock'," said Jonathan Corpina, senior managing partner at Meridian Equity Partners in New York.

Coach's (COH) stock surged 9.8% to $55.55 after the luxury retailer posted third-quarter profit that beat analysts' average estimates. The company also announced that its Board of Directors voted to increase its cash dividend by 15 cents annually.

Delta Air Lines added 10.5% to $16.73 and U.S. Airways jumped 5% to $16.29 after both reported rare first-quarter profits, a sign the airline industry may have found the formula for consistent financial performance.

DuPont (DD) closed up 4.1% to $52.49 after the chemicals manufacturer reaffirmed its 2013 outlook. The company reported first-quarter profit that exceeded Wall Street expectations as agricultural segment sales buffered the impact of softer demand for titanium dioxide. Dupont also raised its dividend by 5%.

Corporate reports that beat forecasts offset signs of weaker growth in China. The preliminary number for HSBC's Purchasing Managers Index fell to 50.5 from 51.6 in March due to a decline in new export orders. A print above 50 indicates expansion.

In the U.S., there was more evidence of the home-price momentum as the Federal Housing Finance Agency's House Price Index rose 0.7% in February up from an increase of 0.6% in January. Meanwhile, new-home sales rose to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 417,000 in March, up from a 411,000 annual pace in February, but below the average economist estimate of 420,000, according to Thomson Reuters.

"In the present environment, we would continue to suggest that investors overweight equities, but we also think it makes sense to consider a more defensive portfolio positioning," noted Russ Koesterich, global chief Investment strategist at BlackRock.

Texas Instruments (TXN) gained 2.5% to $35.69 after the chipmaker delivered robust guidance Monday, projecting second-quarter revenue between $2.93 billion and $3.17 billion and earnings between 37 cents a share and 45 cents a share after beating Wall Street's first-quarter forecasts.

Crude oil futures for June delivery lost a penny to $89.18 a barrel. Gold for June delivery settled down $12.40 at $1,408.80, as the U.S. dollar index jumped 0.42% to $83. The benchmark 10-year Treasury was sliding 4/32, boosting the yield to 1.708%.

Written by Andrea Tse and Joe Deaux in New York

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Andrea Tse.

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